This week is kicking off with a major focus on vulnerable countries and resilience. As Obama’s opening speech said, ‘no nation large or small, wealthy or poor is immune to the impacts of climate change’. That is why today’s declaration by the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF)–a platform of 20 countries whose people, economies and ecosystems are at risk of irreparable damage as a result of rising temperatures–is of huge importance.
These 20 countries have not only pledged to fight for climate justice, but also to demonstrate how such justice can become a reality. Making 1.5°C real will require a clear and rapid transition away from fossil fuels. It means that countries must agree to decarbonise globally and transform to a 100% renewable energy system by 2050. It also means a Paris Ambition Mechanism that will ensure targets are reviewed before 2020 and then renewed and revised upwards on a 5-year rolling cycle–to keep survival and a just transition within reach. It requires richer nations both to fulfil their promise of providing US$100 billion of climate finance by 2020 and to take the lead in making this the floor for future support for mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage.
ECO wholeheartedly supports countries’ demand to limit the global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C. If our goal is not to secure the survival of whole countries, then what is it? This is a simple moral imperative that should unite us all.
If ECO had only one wish, it would be that the voices of the most vulnerable should resonate through the negotiating halls of Le Bourget and their demands be supported and championed by all Parties, especially the EU, US, and other countries that pride themselves on being partners in global solidarity.